Governor Rauner to Sign Automatic Voter Registration Bill - NBC Chicago
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Governor Rauner to Sign Automatic Voter Registration Bill

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    Governor Rauner to Sign Automatic Voter Registration Bill
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    After a series of fits and starts, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will sign an automatic voter registration bill on Monday.

    The signing will take place at 9 a.m. in Chicago.

    The bill, which was originally scheduled to be signed back in July, passed the General Assembly unanimously after changes were made to the language of the law.

    According to the bill, automatic voter registration will be run through the Secretary of State’s office, with implementation scheduled to be completed in time for the 2018 elections.

    The bill will allow voters to be automatically registered to vote through an electronic process when they’re applying for a driver’s license or a state ID, unless they opt out. 

    According to the group Common Cause Illinois, which was one of the biggest proponents of the new legislation, there are up to two million eligible voters who have not registered in the state of Illinois.

    The group says that the bill improves accessibility to the ballot for rural voters, active military personnel, and senior citizens.

    A version of the bill originally passed in 2016, but it was vetoed by Governor Rauner over concerns that the bill didn’t do enough to address concerns about voter fraud and had other potential conflicts with federal law.

    The new version of the bill includes language that ensures that it’s compliant with the Real ID Law, which screens out non-citizens and ensures that only legal Illinois residents will be registered.

    Thanks to those new provisions, the bill passed the House and Senate unanimously in late May.

    Governor Rauner was originally supposed to sign the bill in a ceremony with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition earlier this summer, but amid staff turnover amongst his senior advisers and media team, the signing ceremony was postponed.

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